Believe it or not, there is actually a way to schedule news updates in a flash briefing style format, but in your custom skills. You can schedule updates to Google Sheets APIs using this message so that every day Alexa reads something different. Some example uses include:

  • Scheduling event messages e.g ‘Happy Christmas’ on Christmas Day instead of ‘Welcome to this skill’ etc
  • Adding flash briefing style news updates in a custom skill, shown here
  • Scheduling daily facts/questions/tips
  • And more…
  1. Create a wordpress.com site – it’s free. There are plenty of tutorials for this online.
  2. Now, create a category. Whenever a post is made in this category, the Google Spreadsheet will update. Since my skill is for an aviation news site, I’m going to be setting the category which triggers an update as ‘News’ as I want all news posts to update to the Spreadsheet.
  3. Next, we’ll go to https://ifttt.com/create and create our trigger. Click ‘this’ and search for WordPress and click the icon.
  4. Now, click ‘new post with tag or category’. This means that whenever a post is made with a specific tag or category, the spreadsheet will update.
  5. Next, enter the category that, when an item is posted inside it, will update the spreadsheet.

  6. Next, click create trigger and click ‘then’. Search for ‘Sheets’ and click the Google Sheets icon. Then, click ‘update cell in spreadsheet’.
  7. Now let’s decide how our sheet exactly updates. Make sure it updates cell ‘A2’. In value, you can type what you want to be written in the cell. Mine will read ‘Here’s the latest post, titled: Title of Post. Now, here’s the text being recited by Ale…’
  8. For information on getting data from the Google Spreadsheet, see here.
Categories: BuildIFTTT

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